SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel remains “absolutely certain” that GT2 will be a success despite McLaren’s recent decision to call off its car, and other evolutions to the platform for its launch season in 2020.
Initially announced as part of the GT Sports Club Europe grid, GT2 cars will now be spun off into its own races in Europe following driver feedback in the build up to the launch event last month at Barcelona, which featured only a single Audi R8 LMS GT2 car.
Ratel said it came as a “very big surprise” for the British manufacturer, which is in the midst of a restructuring of its motorsports management, to pull the plug on its planned GT2 car that was set to be unveiled during the Barcelona event.
“We were absolutely certain they were doing it,” he told Sportscar365.
“At Spa it was firmly confirmed that the car would be presented at Barcelona and suddenly Dan [Walmsley, McLaren Automotive motorsports director] leaving and no more car confirmed.
“I don’t think that’s nothing to do with GT2.”
Despite only Porsche and Audi having confirmed cars for the platform, Ratel has insisted that more manufacturers are on their way, hinting that two or three could still be announced next year.
“I remain absolutely certain that GT2, as proven in Barcelona, is efficient, fast and more cost-effective. It has to succeed. It’s a no-brainier,” he said.
“I remain firmly committed and I think it’s the right formula because it’s a GT4 concept applied for powerful cars. It should work.
“We have more manufacturers working on it and we hope to have announcements. With the number of Porsches that have been delivered, there’s enough to start.
“So we have to start with that.”
Ratel said he would be “very happy” to get between a 16-18 car grid for GT2 Sports Club Europe, which is expected to be the platform’s flagship series.
Sports Club series will also be launched in America and Asia, although fewer GT2 cars are initially expected.
“We need to start the series,” he said. “Europe will be important. I think we have a nice selection of circuits. The cars are there, we just need people to run them.”
BoP to Be Utilized in GT2
Ratel confirmed that Balance of Performance will be put into place in the platform, which is expected to alleviate initial concerns of the Audi’s apparent performance advantage to the Porsche.
It’s understood several potential Porsche GT2 entrants elected not to take part in the Barcelona Sports Club weekend out of performance-related concerns.
“Even between the Audi and the Porsche, I think the Porsche will be at the slight advantage at very fast circuits like Paul Ricard and Spa,” Ratel said.
“The Audi will be more suited to circuits like Barcelona, but all across it should be fairly balanced.”